Saturday, February 20, 2010

What shaped you?

I just finished watching "The Great Debaters", & I was struck by how we are shaped by that which we experience in Life.  Experience during our "formative" years.  I think those years are different for each of us & encompass many years, spanning decades off & on.  We form who we are over many years.  We do not just emerge fully adult at the end of our teens or early 20's.  Sometimes we do not know fully who we are & what we are meant to accomplish until we are in our 40's or 50's.  And sometimes we are still finding out about ourselves as we approach 60. 

I am in the Autumn of my life.  I have lived more years than I have left.  That is not fatalistic thinking, but the truth.  I am 58 yrs old.  At best I could have 40 yrs left.  Perhaps less.  The women in my family live well into their 80's & I have always thought I would see 100 yrs.  Every day I learn something new about myself.  Sometimes I learn that I am not so different than I was at 16.
I have always been idealistic, a dreamer.  Always have lived more in my heart & my Spirit, in my head more than in the World.  I never found the World to be a welcoming place.  For many years it was a very scary place for me.  I felt very ill-equipped to survive.  But I found a deep-seated belief within my Spirit.  A knowledge that there is truly a purpose to my Life.  Why else would I have chosen this particular Journey?

Something that would probably surprise all but those who know me intimately is that I am inherently very shy.  I am not comfortable in large gatherings.  When I was a corporate wife I was almost paralyzed by fear in the "cocktail party" setting.  I think that is probably why I started to drink.  It broke through the ice of my shyness & inhibitions. 

I floated through my 30's, working, being a mother, a wife.  But in my 40's I began to search in earnest for the meaning that was missing inside of me.  I needed to get back in touch with my authenticity.  First I had to figure out what was really authentic about me.  I had played a role in my life since childhood & finding the true authentic fiber of me was not an easy task. 

I have very little memory of my childhood so I had very little to draw on that made up "me" from the early years.  As a young adult I let others define me.  I became whatever & whoever the latest man in my life wanted me to be.  It was hard removing that which was false & replacing it with that which was true.   Getting clean & sober, working the Steps, meditating, inward searching all allowed me to discard that which had never defined me & replace it with what really defines me.  I did, & still do, alot of reading.  I found my Spiritualism.  I acknowledged my second sight (which has been with me all my life) & began to embrace seeing that which is unseen to most.  I began to listen to my inner voice, to Great Spirit.  I speak often of being given my Totem, the Great Grey Wolf, but he has been with me since I was 9 or 10.  I consciencely acknowledged him in my late 30's & fully embraced his presence in my 40's. 

I reflect on the defining moments in my life often, but I think who I am authentically has been shaped by things that are deeply hidden in my past.  Things I may never remember.  Things that may be best left unremembered except in my DNA, in the deep recesses of my Spirit.  Those I believe are what has given me my lack of prejudice, my humility, my compassion, my acceptance, my love for people, my lack of judgement.  I am not the person I was once upon a time, but I am the person I was sent to this Life to become, & each day I become more authentic.  I hope I have enough years left to learn all that I wanted to accomplish when I set out on this Journey.  I hope I have enough years left to become the Enlightened Person I am meant to be. 

blessed be...

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